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American public asked opinion on subject regarding which it knows nothing


I realize this is the ultimate dog bites man story but still:

It’s inflation, stupid.

James Carville’s famous 1992 Democratic election mantra about the economy needs an update to encapsulate the depth of President Joe Biden’s political chasm and how his hopes of climbing out depend largely on factors outside of his control.

A new CNN poll, conducted by SSRS and published Monday, showed that 75% of Americans see inflation as their top economic concern but only 25% of them approve of Biden’s efforts to tame it. This represents a staggering repudiation of a President on an issue that is causing considerable pain for most families and figures to be the dominant issue in November’s midterm elections.

These numbers help explain why inflation — a gut punch that afflicts most voters directly, even more than job losses in most recessions — is universally feared by elected officials. The plunge in confidence in Biden’s leadership may also reflect his administration’s blasé assurances last year that inflation was not a long-term concern, contradicting warnings of experts like former Democratic Treasury Secretary Larry Summers.

Whatever happened in the past, it’s clear that until Biden can convince the country he has inflation under control, his political fortunes are not likely to improve.

But the most daunting takeaway of the poll for Biden and Democrats, less than four months before the midterm elections, is that he has limited power to control the factor that could most dictate their fates. Biden, seeking to restore independence and integrity to government after Donald Trump‘s term, has stressed that primary responsibility for fighting inflation lies with the Federal Reserve, not the White House.

And the central bank’s medicine, as it considers another big interest rate cut to temper demand, risks tipping the economy into recession and quelling the job growth that is one of Biden’s best domestic achievements. Additionally, outside factors — like the war in Ukraine, supply chain blockages and Covid-induced production shutdowns in Asian manufacturing hubs — have the capacity to quickly make inflation worse.

No, the most “daunting takeway” from this poll is that it features a comically stupid question at its core, i.e., do you, homme moyen sensuel, “approve” of Joe Biden’s “handling” of this incredibly technical and mysterious and difficult macroeconomic phenomenon that nobody really understands very well, least of all Quoted Expert Larry Summers, who had been wrong about this precise issue about 734 times in a row, approximately, although if you make the same prediction often enough you will eventually be right because that’s just math.

My favorite detail here is that the entire frame of the story pretty much admits that the story’s own frame is ridiculous, since the author admits that Joe Biden can’t actually do much if anything about inflation, but of course this meta-insight has no effect on the bottom line, which is that the voters, idiots that they are, don’t believe that, since they know essentially nothing about this subject, and most especially that they know essentially nothing about this subject.

It’s Dunning-Kruger all the way down.

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